Hardwood hysteria continues to build on college campuses this month, as College Basketball just kicked off. With all what this implies sports bettors are presented with a set of challenges and considerations that have a limited application to the NBA.
Let’s see what those elements are.
Competition all but mandates that bookmakers post prices on over 200 teams, (as compared to 30 NBA clubs) providing the gambler with many more options. As good as the oddsmakers are, for bettors, it’s a lot easier to find a bad number among 100 games than it is to find one among 13 or 14.
Sure this is a factor in NBA play but it’s the tiresome travel associated with getting to an away game that puts the road team at a disadvantage in the pro ranks. For that reason, NBA spreads are affected more by schedule than by actual home court.
Since NCAA teams only play about 30 games a year, lengthy road trips aren’t a factor in college play. Nevertheless, with its requisite contingent of chanting, sign-waving students, the home court really does matter in college hoops. In fact, the home court can be such an advantage that there may be as much as a 10-point swing in home-and-home series pointspreads.
A shorter schedule and more heated rivalries, particularly within conferences or states will play a greater role in college basketball than it does in the NBA. For that reason, assessing a team’s motivation can be a crucial factor.
Another factor unique to college basketball is revenge. A team that lost to an opponent once often is troublesome to tame the second time around. This is a scenario that plays itself out in conference play, where splits are more common than sweeps.
Since no sport is more affected by a single player than basketball, every new addition – freshman, junior college or transfer – has the opportunity to alter the dynamic of the team.
Three-for-all: Further complicating the oddsmaking and betting equation is that college basketball is much more like a three-act play than a seamless season.
Act I extended through the end of the year when teams played most of their non-conference games.
Act II begins with the tip-off of the conference schedule, which starts this month. Teams have worked out the kinks by now and, for the most part, are ready to face a series of opponents with whom they have some familiarity.
For the fortunate, the curtain will rise for Act III, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, in March. It is the unpredictable nature of the “Big Dance,” the convergence of teams that have as much in common as Rick Majerus and hair spray, which makes “March Madness” the oddsmaking and wagering challenge that it is.
Because of its uniqueness, bet makers and bet takers approach the tournament both respectful and wary of an entirely different set of factors that rarely come into play during college basketball’s regular season. We’ll talk about the Keys to betting on college basketball in the spring. Sign up now at HeritageSports.eu